Show Us Who You Are: an incredible exploration of what it means to be human
“When Cora’s brother drags her along to his boss’s house, she doesn’t expect to strike up a friendship with Adrien, son of the intimidating CEO of Pomegranate Technologies. As she becomes part of Adrien’s life, she is also drawn into the mysterious projects at Pomegranate. At first, she’s intrigued by them – Pomegranate is using AI to recreate real people in hologram form. As she digs deeper, however, she uncovers darker secrets… Cora knows she must unravel their plans, but can she fight to make her voice heard, whilst never losing sight of herself?”
As a massive fan of Elle’s first book (A Kind of Spark), I jumped at the chance to be involved in promoting this book. When it landed through my door, it jumped straight to the top of the TBR pile and I just devoured it in a matter of hours. This book is something special and I dare you to read it and not get to the end and think ‘WOAH’.
Show Us Who You Are tells the story of Cora. Cora gets dragged along to a party with her brother. There she meets Adrien (son of the CEO of Pomegranate Technologies) and the two hit it off. She’s not a girl who has many friends and is surprised at how she and Adrien hit it off (she’s a bit reluctant at first!). Pomegranate Technologies is a company that uses AI to recreate real people as holograms in the promise to help people who are grieving; to help those who lose people to see them again. Cora’s new friend Adrien is the first person who “gets” her, the first person who understands what it’s like to be neurodiverse (Cora is autistic and Adrien has ADHD). Despite some reluctance and insistence from her dad, Cora ends up agreeing to take part in some Pomegranate research. What she ends up discovering about the company is that nothing is quite as it seems.
I really loved that this book deals with AI. I thought that was a captivating way to look at what it means to be human – it’s a kind of deep question that is answered (?) in such a brilliant way. The technology of Pomegranate seems incredibly fascinating and I found myself agreeing with some of the things they do, but then totally against the ways in which they conduct themselves. There are a lot of things about their practises that are totally inexcusable and just down right wrong. The idea of holograms for the people you’ve lost is an intriguing one though!
This book made me feel ALL OF THE EMOTIONS. There’s anger, sadness, shock, confusion, jubilation and love. You’ll go through this at a mile a minute and you’ll be slapped in the face by different emotions.
This is a hard review to write because SPOILERS. However, I won’t spoil anything for you! Just know that this book deals with what it means to be human and grief so brilliantly.
Cora goes through some TOUGH things. She makes some BIG decisions and stands up for what she knows is right in the world. She makes a place for herself when she otherwise would’ve been pushed aside. She’s an incredible main character and looking at life through her lens was a fascinating thing. How she sees the world and how the world sees her is completely different to how I see the world and I think it’s important that we give other people’s lenses the chance to shout in this world.
My Goodreads review:
This is MAGNIFICENT. I’ve cried; I’ve been angry; I’ve been shocked. Cora is SUCH a magnificent main character and this whole premise is FASCINATING. How grief can change how we might think and feel; how science can be our best friend and our downfall. Man, what a kick in the face. Something Elle does so magnificently is talk about what makes us human, and this book hits the nail on the head.
Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll is published on Thursday 4th March by Knights Of, and available to pre-order from all good bookshops. If you’d like to join her for the official launch event with Jen Campbell on 10th March, tickets are available at www.blackwells.co.uk/bookshops/events/.
A massive thank you to Knights Of and Ed PR for inviting me to be on this blog tour. This book is incredible and I need everyone to go out there and support it! You can preorder this book via Round Table Books by clicking here: Round Table Books Preorder link.
Check out the rest of the blog tour!